Another bathroom, overlooking the trees of the Park, is entirely constructed of green and white marbles of charming tones. Evergreens fill the outside window-boxes in winter. In the spring these boxes are filled with flowers in bloom.
"THE YELLOW OF THE BRASS AND THAT OF THE WINDOW REPEATED EACH OTHER".
The possibility of making any bathroom both dainty and charming is not denied the very humblest. In some apartments, where the bathroom is tiny, this has been done. The floor and dado were of the usual white tiles. The tub itself was porcelain lined. The pipes were nickel plated, exposed according to sanitary laws. The panes were of plain glass. The wise owner laid a plain green rug on the floor, and covered the walls with a varnished wall-paper showing a yellow iris with green leaves, ducks and swans paddling in the water surrounding the blossoms. For the plain glass window she substituted a leaded yellow crackle glass costing ten dollars. She made her curtains of green silkoline, cut with two straight pieces felled and hanging straight on either side, with a ruffle across the top to break the awkward space. With this crackled glass, sufficient privacy was secured the bather during the day, without the need of a curtain falling over the panes. At night a yellow shade is drawn. As the bathroom is small and without room for a basin, a board painted white with enamel paint was laid across the tub and set with a large brass basin and pitcher highly polished, so that the yellow of the brass and that of the window repeated each other and filled the room as with sunshine.
Another improvement was made later, which it is to be hoped may be adopted by landlords for the convenience of tenants in small bathrooms. The hot and cold water-pipes at the head of the tub were tapped, and the new pipes made to run up for some four feet, and end in hot and cold water faucets, emptied by a single projecting arm. Into the side wall a swinging bracket, ending in a wide ring or hoop, was fastened. Into this ring or hoop, a basin was fitted. On either side of the basin there were handles, so that it could be easily lifted and emptied without making the tub below untidy. The convenience of this arrangement can hardly be too strongly insisted upon, and is to be urged wherever a stationary basin is not possible in a bathroom.
The tenant who objects to expending ten dollars on a leaded window, and who still wants the color, may paint her window with oil paints mixed with varnish to imitate stained glass.
A bathroom corresponding in size to that which has just been described, was given an altogether different air by a varnished paper gay with climbing roses, covering walls and ceiling. The white window-panes were in this instance left untouched, curtains being shirred on the sash. The dotted white muslin with ruffled edges is repeated in the covers made for the shelves, - those holding the powders, the toilet waters, and the toothbrushes. A long mirror fills one wall, apparently increasing the size. No rug covers the floor tiles, a bath mat being laid there when required. Over the tub is a swinging bracket, like those used for holding the large glass vessels of colored liquids seen in apothecaries' windows. Painted white to match the rest of the wood-work, with its brightly polished copper pitcher and basin, it becomes an interesting addition to the room.
THE HOT AND COLD WATER-PIPES AT THE HEAD OF THE TUB WERE TAPPED".
Thus it will be seen that even the smallest of bathrooms, and those identically alike, may have a distinctive touch lent them by the taste of the tenant.
Every year the stores are filled with new fashions in varnished papers for bathrooms. Sometimes the design shows a trellis with an interlacing of vines and flowers so that the effect of a bower is produced: Sometimes it is purely conventional, representing tiled walls of blue and white or different colors. These tiled papers often show tulips and roses in each square, or for children are especially designed with Kate Greenaway figures. Any paper may, however, be varnished, the varnish adding in many cases a certain richness of tone to the colors beneath.
Blue and white is always good in a bathroom, the blue and white of the walls being repeated in the blue and white of the bath mats, or the oil-cloth or linoleum on the floor. Linoleum or oil-cloth is always to be urged in bathrooms where the floors are bad, as they are in many of the old-fashioned sort. A rug is easily shaken and gives sufficient warmth to the feet. When varnished papers, marbles, and tiles are out of the question, a bathroom may still be made interesting. Resort must then be had to the painter. A white enamelled paint, for instance, may be divided into four-inch squares by blue lines to imitate tiling. When one is clever at stencilling, a decorative design may be added as a frieze: on white walls, when the enamelled paint below has been made to represent a tiling of green and white, sea-horses and sea-shells conventionally arranged may be stencilled in green just below the ceiling as a frieze. If blue is used, the stencil may follow a different pattern. When the plain wall-space between is filled by a mirror with a white frame, or if the mirror is framed with a wash material like that shown in the border of the curtain, the simplest and most unpretentious of bathrooms may be altogether transformed.
In elaborately appointed bathrooms, mirrors are made to serve important purposes, being nothing more nor less than doors to closets. In many instances a small mirror is made to conceal a cabinet for medicines. Sometimes this cabinet appears as a projection in the room, placed over the washstand and shelf. In more elaborately fitted bathrooms, the cabinet is sunk into the wall; the mirror then appears as part of the wall-surface, no suggestion of the concealed door being given. The touching of a spring throws the mirror back and the cabinet is revealed. As everything in these days made after an approved fashion must be antiseptic, this cabinet is also of tiles like the walls, and the thick bevelled-glass shelves on which the medicines are placed can be taken down and washed. This glass is expensive, and where you find it beyond your means, you are strongly urged to have your bathroom shelves so made that they can be readily removed and as readily scrubbed.